This book was cute. It wasn’t anything of great value. I really just picked it up because I wanted a male MC book, and this one resonated with me because I am a small-town Tennessee boy that ended up in DC, and I also knew a (different) Kat Spears in college.
This author is not a novice, but she still has a lot of work ahead of her in terms of male characters. She found her stride about 3/4 of the way in, but it was sometimes painful getting there. I do not mind the occasional male stereotype/archetype if it is making a point, but Spears painted teenage boys as 2-dimensional horn dogs. Really? Sex, farts, porn, and masturbation? I hate to tell her, but boys in high school think about more than that (even the mach0-football-playing-jerks).
This book follows Luke as he moves from DC to rural Tennessee to live with his baptist, pastor father. I’m not sure the exact relevance of this other than to depict small towns in the south and their zealous ways. He is practically a social pariah until a turn of events that leaves the “it boy” in a coma and Luke on top.
Again, this book does not add much value to the YA literature world, but it is a semi-cute read that leaves a small impression on your heart. The story of a nobody, turned somebody, turned asshole, turned nobody again.
I cannot really recommend this book to anyone, but I would maybe suggest it as a possible title for a boy looking for a book similar to this one. I think this one’s length takes it out of the running for most recommendations though. It could have been 70-100 pages shorter, and then, I would’ve suggested it as a quick read.
For readers, you might want to pass. If you are looking for a good book with a male MC, read Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven, True Letters from a Fictional Life by Kenneth Logan, or The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. All of these would be better than sex, farts, porn, and masturbation.
For libraries, I would say pass. Not worth the money, and it isn’t worth trying to justify. It might be a decent secondary purchase if you really need male MCs, but I think you could find them elsewhere.